Filed under: Philanthropy

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U. of C. to get some of Watson’s ‘Jeopardy!’ prize

IBM supercomputer Watson takes on "Jeopardy!" champs Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. (IBM photo)

IBM’s supercomputer, Watson, may have trounced the last hope for humanity when it beat two “Jeopardy!” champions in a three-night contest this week, but it has also extended a philanthropic helping hand to mere mortals.

IBM is allocating $500,000 of Watson’s $1 million winnings to World Community Grid, a project where volunteer PCs users make up a “virtual supercomputer” that helps scientists with research projects. The grid harnesses the spare computational power of 1.7 million PCs from 535,000 volunteers in 80 countries, putting this combined capability to work on complicated problems. Get the full story »

Tribune Co. reorganization plans draw new fire

Bloomberg News | The Robert R. McCormick Foundation, onetime one of the largest shareholders in Tribune Co., opposes the remaining two reorganization plans for the media giant, because neither would end lawsuits against shareholders, including the foundation, that made billions of dollars in the company’s leveraged buyout.

Exelon CEO’s pay rises 14%

Exelon CEO John Rowe saw his total compensation for 2010 rise 14 percent to $7.2 million, according to documents filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission, an increase largely tied to a change in the theoretical value of his pension.

Rowe had the opportunity to earn stock performance awards worth $1.1 million — compensation that is directly tied to the performance of Exelon stock. But the company’s shares performed in the negative direction in 2010 and Rowe received no equity for performance.

At the same time, stock options worth $1.15 million were underwater at the end of 2010. Get the full story »

Women’s shelter fundraiser sweeter success in ‘10

On one Sunday in December for the last seven years, about 300 children have gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Chicago to decorate  gingerbread houses.

It’s part of an annual holiday brunch to benefit  Women in Need Growing Stronger, a nonprofit group that’s chaired by Rita Canning. Get the full story »

Basketball document sells for $4 million at auction

A historic document that details the original rules of basketball, written 119 years ago as a winter sport for boys of a Massachusetts YMCA, was sold for more than $4 million on Friday to raise money for charity. Get the full story »

Abbott gets naming rights for Shedd oceanarium

From the Daily Herald | Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium said Tuesday its ocean mammal area will be called the Abbott Oceanarium. The renaming recognizes significant support provided for the Shedd Aquarium by the North Chicago-based pharmaceutical giant and its philanthropic foundation the Abbott Fund.  Get the full story>>

Salvation Army to accept text message donations

Want to make a donation to the Salvation Army? Just hit send on your cell phone.

As part of an effort to attract a younger generation of donors, the Salvation Army Chicago Metropolitan Division will soon accept donations via text messages.

After seeing the success of text messaging campaigns for relief efforts after earthquakes devastated Haiti in January — a record $43 million has been collected, according to the Mobile Giving Foundation — nonprofits have been lining up with their own campaigns.

Get the full story »

Microsoft’s Oak Brook store to open Nov. 4

The Microsoft store planned for Oakbrook Center in Oak Brook will open on Nov. 4, making the Chicago-area location the fifth such store for the technology giant.

Microsoft’s first store opened a year ago in Scottsdale, Arizona and the company also has locations in Mission Viejo, Calif., Lone Tree, Colo., and San Diego. Get the full story »

Marshall Field V finalizes fate of his fortune

Marshall Field V, the great-great-grandson of merchandising king Marshall Field, is winding down one of the final vestiges of his public life in Chicago. On Sunday, he announced that he and his wife, Jamee, are closing their family foundation and transferring its assets to a special fund at The Chicago Community Trust.

Charity auction to give your Twitter account star power

If you’ve ever wished celebrities such as actress Demi Moore or skateboarder Tony Hawk would follow you on Twitter, now’s your chance — but you’ll have to cough up some cash for the privilege. Get the full story »

$45 million bailout reported for NU med school

From Crain’s Chicago Business | Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, hit by declining endowment income and expansion costs, will get a $45 million bailout from the college and other sources.

More U.S. billionaires pledge fortune to charity

Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, with rapper Ludacris, at a 2008 State Farm Basketball Challenge exhibition game. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

A total of 40 U.S. billionaires have pledged to give away at least 50 percent of their wealth as part of a campaign by investor Warren Buffett and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Gates and Buffett launched “The Giving Pledge” in June to convince hundreds of U.S. billionaires to give away most of their fortune during their lifetimes or after their deaths and to publicly state their intention with a letter of explanation. Get the full story »

Shorebank’s financial hole deepens

ShoreBank’s capital deficiency worsened in the second quarter, according to newly submitted financial results to regulators, and the Chicago-based lender now needs to raise at least $190 million just to meet targets set out in March by state and U.S. banking regulators.

The South Side bank has arranged a capital infusion of about $150 million from Wall Street investment firms, big banks, insurance companies and philanthropic groups. It’s hoping that private investment will then make it eligible for about $75 million in bailout funds from the U.S. Treasury Department. Get the full story »

MillerCoors starts program to raise cash for vets

From the Milwaukee Business Journal | MillerCoors LLC. has introduced a bottle cap and can tab collection program that will contribute as much as $1 million in cash and other incentives for those who have served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Gates, Buffett ask rich to donate half their wealth

ct-web-buffett-gates.jpgWarren Buffett, left, and Bill Gates play table tennis at the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha, Neb., Sunday, May 6, 2007. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Associated Press | Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and billionaire investor Warren
Buffett are launching a campaign to get other American billionaires to
give at least half their wealth to charity.

Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said in a letter
introducing the concept that he couldn’t be happier with his decision in
2006 to give 99 percent of his roughly $46 billion fortune to charity.

Get the full story »